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Temp Job Vacancies Fall Precipitously

According to interim and placement agencies, temporary work contracts have declined drastically. Many companies have been greatly reducing their headcount of temporary workers. In difficult times, the contracts of temporary workers are often not renewed, allowing companies to cut personnel without firing regular employees.

Companies have long used temporary workers as a buffer to be able to better weather the waves of financial fortune.

Currently, with plummeting orders and a recessionist economy, temp agencies are reporting a drop of nearly 30% in temporary work contracts. The index is calculated based on the number of hours the agencies are billing.

Decidedly, this is very bad news for companies such as Adecco, the world leader in temporary work, whose sales figures fell by a third in 2008.

The reductions in temporary staff began already in the middle of 2008. Companies such as Rolex have substantially cut temporary workers.

But in January the slowdown was particularly steep, some commentators say as much as 35%. The index of fixed placements decreased by roughly 25% over the same period.
Analysts see no sign of recovery for now. Temporary work is always the most vulnerable in a deteriorating economy.

The sectors most strongly affected by the decline in temporary work are mainly industry, and the exporters like the luxury watch manufacturers. Watch making is very strongly affected among the least qualified personnel, though highly qualified watch makers remain in demand.

Despite the sharp drop in temporary employment, the overall situation remains relatively positive. In Switzerland the global unemployment rate rose to 3.4% in February, while in the EU the average is 8.5% . And there remain thousands of job vacancies. Even UBS has nearly 300 open job offers on their website.

Besides cutting their temporary work force, companies are also turning to outsourcing to lower costs. Some enterprises are outsourcing their HR or parts of their IT.

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